Gor Mahia is disputing the move by football Kenya federation to cede to Startimes media, FKF’s media partners, the broadcast rights of clubs participating in the Kenyan premier league.
Startimes media was announced by FKF in August as their media partners in a multi million shillings, 7 year deal that will see the pay Tv broadcast air top tier, second tier and national teams matches.
Gor Mahia FC chairman Ambrose Rachier objected to the surrendering of the club’s broadcast rights saying such can only be granted by clubs themselves.
‘The club owns such rights as its intellectual property, and it’s only the club that has the locus standi or the legal authority to cede them or grant them to a third party. Any other football club in Kenya has a similar authority to cut a way such rights in accordance with its constitution or statutes, the football Kenya federation has no authority whatsoever to enter into any contract with any person purporting to grant such party our broadcast rights. Article 81 of Football Kenya federation constitution doesn’t confer such rights to the federation over broadcast rights of any premier league club in the country’’, Rachier said.
Rachier added that Fkf had failed in getting the club sign the contract and accused the federation of using undesired means to have clubs endorse the deal alleging that Gor Mahia’s secretary general Samuel Ocholla who has since been suspended, went against the club in endorsing the deal on behalf of the club.
‘’Having failed they have resorted to coercing, intimidating and blackmailing clubs to procure the endorsement of the agreement they entered into illegally. We as Gor Mahia have remained adamant in our position. And that’s why they procured our secretary general to purport to issue to startimes an endorsement of the agreement which every member of the club’s executive committee has recanted and have a letter addressed to startimes informing them that the letter is written with no legal authority’’, Rachier remarked.
The record Kenyan premier champions are subtly calling for renegotiation of the deal and want to be allowed to read the broadcast agreement before endorsing it.
‘’The first thing I did was to ask for the copy of the contract which was not given to me. There was no response whatsoever to my request to have a look at the contract. We do not dispute the federations’ authority to run the league. All we are disputing is that the federation has no right to sell the club’s right to a media house without the authority of the club’’, Rachier said.
Gor Mahia is set to open their 2020/21 Kenyan Premier league campaign against Tusker on 9th December with Rachier saying the club will honor the match with or with no deal.
Meanwhile the club left on Wednesday for Kigali Rwanda where they will face APR in the first leg, first preliminary round of the CAF Champions League.
The club will miss the services of their new head coach Roberto Goncalves Oliviera who is expected to sit out the continental matches as he awaits his CAF coaching licenses to get regularized. Rachier confirmed the club had appointed Posta Rangers coach Sammy Omollo as stand in coach for the continental matches.
‘’We have contracted Sammy Omolo to be our stand in coach in Kigali.we have had a good agreement with Posta Rangers.He is going to be in charge both in Rwanda and in Nairobi until such time the papers of our coach will be okayed’’,Rachier said.
Meanwhile the club left on Tuesday for Kigali.